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Old 03-13-2015, 04:38 AM
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Silicates

The topic of silicates has been raised in another thread, and I thought it appropriate to raise the discussion in its own merit.

Silicates have been used by certain plant nurseries (not orchids) with reports that it thickens the cell walls and reduces fungal attacks and pests. My understanding is that it is not trans locatable and must be administered on a regular basis, similar to Calcium. I see Potassium silicate is available in a liquid form although the PH is very high.


Does anyone have any experience with using silicates on orchids and what was the results?


Does anyone also have any opinions or knowledge on this topic both good and bad?
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Old 03-13-2015, 07:30 AM
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I used Pro-Tekt for one full summer a few years ago but I didn't notice any difference. I initially got it for the heat stress claims and while I used it on all my orchids I was mainly hoping to see a reduction in heat stress in the masdies but, unfortunately, I saw no differences in how the masdies handled the summer heat.

It's possible I simply didn't use it long enough to see the desired results so maybe longer term use would give better results.
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Old 03-13-2015, 07:50 AM
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Katrina, did you notice any difference in pest and fungal issues?
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Old 03-13-2015, 09:11 AM
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Old 03-13-2015, 11:36 AM
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My experience is like Katrina's.

When I began using RO water, my use of Dyna-Gro "Grow" formula resulted in a very low solution pH. I added Pro-Tekt to offset that. I did that for about 1.5 years before switching to the powdered MSU RO formula, which needed no adjustment.

That said, my recent experience with changing my feeding regimen makes me wonder if Kat's summer or my year and a half was sufficient to see anything.

I switched from 125 ppm N MSU RO to 25 pm N K-Lite because, while my plants were growing beautifully, they really weren't blooming very well. It took three years at the new regimen for me to notice the improvement I sought, and it has continued since then.

I'm not trying to say that it will take that long for any change, but it does suggest that more time may be necessary.
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Old 03-16-2015, 07:42 AM
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I'm not saying 3 months is enough time to see results but if something takes 3 yrs to see results...then something isn't right. Plants don't need that much time to show improvement or decline. They aren't fast...but they sure aren't that slow.

I think you have to attribute some of the better blooming to the fact that the plants are maturing/getting old/bigger. Wouldn't you agree?

I know people who don't fert...some who do it some times but not often or when they think about it...and then some who are scheduled down to the tiniest of minutia and never miss a dose...and all peoples' plants have bloomed better as they got older and bigger. If anything...a good fert regimen usually helps that maturation process and the plants should grow bigger/faster so one should see good results quicker. Maybe not 3 months quicker but certainly quicker than 3 yrs. I really believe part of your situation is plant age, Ray. Well, provided you didn't have some culture issues...if the culture is wrong...no amount of fert or supplement is going to fix it. Anyway...I would expect results much quicker than 3 yrs regardless of the product so don't sell yourself short on the 3 yrs aspect. They just needed more time to grow up.
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Old 03-16-2015, 09:19 AM
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Good morning, Katrina.

Generally, I would agree with you on that, but in this case, some of the plants were mature, reliable bloomers, then stopped after what I interpret as excessive fertilization, and have now returned to that former status. In many cases, the resumption of blooming was more like 18 months or so down the road, but the improvements have continued.

My general "take" is that if orchids are missing something they need, they will respond relatively quickly to its provision, but it may take longer to "purge" an excess. (As an analogy, I notice it's a lot easier to gain weight, than to lose it again!)
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Old 03-16-2015, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
As an analogy, I notice it's a lot easier to gain weight, than to lose it again!)

Too funny, and too true!

I too used Pro-tekt, on some of my phals when I first started putting them outside, and kept it up for a season. It didn't seem to make a difference, so I dropped it. It doesn't seem to be necessary in my area, given the water here.
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Old 03-16-2015, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
Good morning, Katrina.

(As an analogy, I notice it's a lot easier to gain weight, than to lose it again!)

And, a good morning (late) to you too.

I don't know...I just don't buy (literally and figuratively - HA!) the whole lesser K part, I mean. I'm no plant genius but I have been growing green things for as long as I can remember and it makes zero sense to me. I'm not saying you haven't had any success w/this product (I couldn't possibly know that anyway) but I simply can't believe/don't believe that all your recent success is suddenly (OK, 3yrs suddenly but you get my meaning) the results of this new miracle product.

Looks like Rick will be speaking (most likely) at one of my club's meetings this year so I'll have to go back through the info and refresh myself on all of that and this time I'll write down my questions/concerns/thoughts on the subject. It's going to take a lot more proof to convince me of the validity of this train of thought. I'm not saying a few orchids wouldn't benefit...paphs are notoriously light feeders, for example...but across the board...nope, can't see it, don't believe it. Call me stubborn about change but too many people have been growing specimen sized, gorgeous orchids (AND, in some cases even getting awards on those orchids!) for waaaaaaaay too many years to convince me that all of a sudden we all need to drop the K to such low levels. If it were a problem how is it that we see amazing orchids/plants from people using the non-low K products? No, I'm sorry, I think it's all still far too sketchy.

I'm a skeptic and it's because I've been sucked into more "miracle" products over the years (even before orchids) than I care to remember. I went into all of them w/an open mind and ready to see those wonderful results but, unfortunately, most times I ended up being nothing but disappointed. I'm now...well, I should probably just move to Missouri...you know..."Show Me". Anyway, I'm not as easily swayed these days...I need to see more evidence before I'm willing to plunk down my dollar.

Ok...so that's just my opinion on the subject. Yes, yes, I know what they say about opinions...but that's mine anyway.

As for the weight...UGH!...really? Now there was no reason to even go there. XD
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Old 03-16-2015, 02:38 PM
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I can see why you are skeptical. So many fertilizers...why do they all claim success?
I think the nutrients your plants need all depends on your growing medium, your water, the environment and what you are growing. The reason that people have success with different fertilizers is that we are not growing in a lab under controlled conditions. When I have researched some of the other types of plants I grow, I have found the information given for growing in their native environments on a commercial scale. While this gives me an excellent idea of what the plants will need, I naturally have to adjust everything as I will be growing my plants in Ohio. It is the same with any plant that you grow that isn't native to the area. You have to make adjustments for your particular conditions. Gardeners make these adjustments without even giving them much thought. If you grow blueberries, you have to make certain the soil is acidic. If you grow herbs, most of them like a higher pH so you add eggshells/lime.
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Old 03-16-2015, 08:40 PM
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Well Kat, I really wasn't trying to refer to K-Lite, or whether low-K is important. What I was trying to convey was the mass of nitrogen I HAD been applying, versus what I do now.

While I am seeing good results, I really believe that the precise formula is less important than the amount applied.
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Old 03-17-2015, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
Well Kat, I really wasn't trying to refer to K-Lite, or whether low-K is important. What I was trying to convey was the mass of nitrogen I HAD been applying, versus what I do now.

While I am seeing good results, I really believe that the precise formula is less important than the amount applied.
Ahhhh...well then, I misunderstood where you were going. Sorry.

N - it's a good thing but like most other things in life (except money of course) ...too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.
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